This blog is dedicated to pointing out the inequities in current day society and to highlighting those individuals and groups who are working to make the world a fairer place. Socialism does not mean mediocrity, it does not mean sprawling blocks of gray, or a world without innovation. What it means is recognizing that we live in a society. That both sides of our lopsided world need to ask themselves if the current paradigm is what they want? And if they don’t what are we all going to do to change it. We don’t need to lop off heads, but we do need to loosen the death grip of corporate interests in our government, and we need to work to create fairer opportunities for employment and affordable housing. Somewhere in the 80s greed became synonymous with success, and this attitude among those in power in in danger of tearing the US to shreds. Who am I? An educator, a Californian, an artist and a writer. Do I have the answers? No, but I know the first step to finding the answers is to initiating dialogue. We can’t stand by and watch the standard of living for the average American plummet to something out of a Dickens novel. Learn the facts, act. Through demonstrations, petitions, but especially through your votes. We have the power to build a better future every day.
We Need to Stop Trusting the Police
Last Monday, a jury found two former Fullerton, California, police officers not guiltyon one charge of excessive force, two of manslaughter, and one of second-degree murder in the beating death of Kelly Thomas. The 2011 altercation, which lead to Thomas’s death five days later, was captured in detail by surveillance cameras and audio from police recorders—on tape, the cops can be seen beating the homeless man mercilessly and Tasing him twice in the face. At one point, Thomas is moaning “Help me dad” as the officers swing their nightsticks at him.
That fairly clear video evidence, along with the activism of Kelly’s father Ron (a former sheriff’s deputy) and the mobilization outraged community, ensured Thomas’s death got a lot more media coverage than the killing of homeless people by police normally do. But the officers are still walking free after beating an unarmed man to death. (In fact, one of them, Jay Cicinelli, already wants his job back.) How does that happen? A great many people in the community are asking that same question—multiple protests against the outcome of the trial this week resulted in 14 arrests
One answer to that question is that the jurors, like most Americans, probably thought that cops are generally almost always right. A Gallup Poll from last month found that 54 percent of respondents had “high” or “very high” amounts of trust in police officers. People think more favorably of cops than they do journalists, politicians, lawyers, or even members of the clergy. The only authority figures more trusted than the police are doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and grade school teachers.